Morrison’s scientific expertise resides in the fields of microbial physiology, genetics, and genomics, with a career-long focus on the gastrointestinal microbiota of humans and other herbivores.
He is Professor and Chair of Microbial Biology and Metagenomics at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, and since 2019 has served as the science lead for gastrointestinal function with the Princess Alexandra Hospital Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology. He is committed to the translation of microbial genomic and metagenomic datasets into a sound biological framework, producing novel diagnostic, organismal, and enzyme-based technologies.
During his academic tenure in the USA, he led the team that produced the first genome sequences for gut Ruminococcus and Prevotella spp.; these bacteria are now widely acknowledged to play a key role in establishing human gut “enterotypes”. He returned to Australia in 2006 as a CSIRO Science Leader, leading the gut health stream of their Preventative Health Flagship Program, and was also one of CSIRO’s five Capability Platform leaders (in Transformational Biology). His collaborations with French and Australian clinicians produced a series of high impact papers foundational to establishing the microbial “dysbiosis” associated with Crohn’s disease. He currently serves as a Chief Investigator for microbiota research with the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence for Digestive Health. He is Australia’s representative to the International Human Microbiome Consortium and serves on the advisory and review groups for various international research organisations, industry, and grant agencies. His research has been continuously supported in the USA and Australia by extramural grant programs including those for the NHMRC, MRFF and ARC, as well as by industry and philanthropic organisations. His publications and citations over the last ten years place him in Essential Science Indicators top 1% of authors publishing in the field of Microbiology, with an h-index of 56 (Scopus, 10/22).